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Topic: Third Score In Notion

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  1. #1

    Third Score In Notion

    This is "Late February: A Dream Of Spring." It's the third movement of Three Winter Scenes, both the longest and most impressionistic of the three. I''l let folks puzzle out for themselves the various images I am trying to evoke. As a general hint, think about what happens in late February. Also, try to answer the question, "Who is having the dream?"

    As for the score, I discovered that Notion has breath or lift marks. I have used these copiously, as I often use less than the entire note value, resulting in tied notes, rests, etc. This makes it so much neater. I will have to go back and edit the other two pieces now.

    Sound: https://app.box.com/s/xg7x9685p1kvydj4vp18h9axvk8k32lx (Done in Sonar)

    Score: https://app.box.com/s/kr7sqwi3uisnwsp13s5vm2mzhgv94n65

  2. #2

    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Beautiful, Michael! Your music puts me in a place I'd rather be!

  3. #3
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Very beautiful. I think somewhere in the center there is a little melting going on, and at the end, I was thinking that an Indian person is waking up?

    As suggestions;
    You have lovely parts for the strings, but they are too overwhelmed by the woods and brass, it would be so nice if we could hear the strings more, at least some times...
    Only you can decide where and how much, but a little more dynamics would improve the overall beauty even more.
    Even if you decide not to do these, it is very good as it is, and thanks for posting it.

    Ted

  4. #4
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Third Score In Notion

    That was terrific Michael. A wonderful impressionistic work!

    I thought about late winter in the local mountains, covered with a blanket of snow and rushing rivers and streams. All the plants and some wildlife are still sleeping while other wildlife must survive until the Spring.

    I hope you can have your Three Winter Scenes performed and post a recording.



    Phil

  5. #5

    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Hi Michael,

    As a score and compositional realisation it's quite an achievement. You call it an impressionistic piece, which it certainly is in the choice of harmonies and melody lines. Misty, fuzzy and full of dreamy moods.

    But I wanted to deal with something else. It is a beautiful Notion score, it sure is. But... I don't know what libraries you've used, I guess the built in Notion libraries and the Garritan flutes? They tend to have all different balance approaches and that is audible here. The harp is far too strong in comparison with the brass instruments, and the same applies for the flutes. That is so obvious because there's no orchestral depth in the piece. All the instruments sound like they were on the same stage level. That prevents the solo passages from coming into evidence and others being too loud where they shouldn't. The nice harmonic colouring gets a bit lost that way.

    I'm a Notion user too and know how difficult it is to create depth within Notion. That's why I usually use a DAW after the composition to create more room. Still, it is possible to do that in Notion.
    For that purpose you have to create bus channels for each section and give them all different reverbs (you can use the built-in ones). The closer, the less wet, the farther, the less dry reverb. To complete that setting, you should do som EQ'ing on these busses as well: the farther, the less high frequencies (above 6 KHz), but that's not built in in Notion, and some volume reduction is required too.
    But it would be better to use real convolution reverb (room acoustics impulse responses) to create a more realistic sound image.
    The instrument sections can be sent to the busses in percentage (some % through the busses, some % directly to the output as it is in a live performance: you hear the orchestra directly, but also through the room reflections).
    And a last remark: reconsider your balancing. Different libraries have different recording strengths and input volumes.

    That of course doesn't diminish in any way your splendid compositional effort, only it could sound a lot better, even within Notion.

    Congratulations with your fantastic composition!
    Max

  6. #6

    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Damon View Post
    Beautiful, Michael! Your music puts me in a place I'd rather be!
    Thanks Sean, glad you enjoyed it!

  7. #7

    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    Very beautiful. I think somewhere in the center there is a little melting going on, and at the end, I was thinking that an Indian person is waking up?

    As suggestions;
    You have lovely parts for the strings, but they are too overwhelmed by the woods and brass, it would be so nice if we could hear the strings more, at least some times...
    Only you can decide where and how much, but a little more dynamics would improve the overall beauty even more.
    Even if you decide not to do these, it is very good as it is, and thanks for posting it.

    Ted
    Thanks Ted. You are right about the melting. Specifically, icicles. However, I did not have a Native American in mind as the one having the dream. Something much bigger. You are also right about the strings. Partly it is because I have not understood how to get more volume out of Cinematic Strings. I have now solved that as I begin work on my new (old) piece, another tone poem. Thanks for listening.

  8. #8

    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane View Post
    That was terrific Michael. A wonderful impressionistic work!

    I thought about late winter in the local mountains, covered with a blanket of snow and rushing rivers and streams. All the plants and some wildlife are still sleeping while other wildlife must survive until the Spring.

    I hope you can have your Three Winter Scenes performed and post a recording.



    Phil
    Thanks for listening Phil. You are right about some of the imagery. nobody has yet caught one of the most obvious ones, however, which pervades the beginning of the piece. I don't want to spill the beans, as I want to see if people can pick up the images on their own. If I say what they are at the outset, then people will say, "Oh yes, I can see that."

  9. #9

    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Hi Michael,

    As a score and compositional realisation it's quite an achievement. You call it an impressionistic piece, which it certainly is in the choice of harmonies and melody lines. Misty, fuzzy and full of dreamy moods.

    But I wanted to deal with something else. It is a beautiful Notion score, it sure is. But... I don't know what libraries you've used, I guess the built in Notion libraries and the Garritan flutes? They tend to have all different balance approaches and that is audible here. The harp is far too strong in comparison with the brass instruments, and the same applies for the flutes. That is so obvious because there's no orchestral depth in the piece. All the instruments sound like they were on the same stage level. That prevents the solo passages from coming into evidence and others being too loud where they shouldn't. The nice harmonic colouring gets a bit lost that way.

    I'm a Notion user too and know how difficult it is to create depth within Notion. That's why I usually use a DAW after the composition to create more room. Still, it is possible to do that in Notion.
    For that purpose you have to create bus channels for each section and give them all different reverbs (you can use the built-in ones). The closer, the less wet, the farther, the less dry reverb. To complete that setting, you should do som EQ'ing on these busses as well: the farther, the less high frequencies (above 6 KHz), but that's not built in in Notion, and some volume reduction is required too.
    But it would be better to use real convolution reverb (room acoustics impulse responses) to create a more realistic sound image.
    The instrument sections can be sent to the busses in percentage (some % through the busses, some % directly to the output as it is in a live performance: you hear the orchestra directly, but also through the room reflections).
    And a last remark: reconsider your balancing. Different libraries have different recording strengths and input volumes.

    That of course doesn't diminish in any way your splendid compositional effort, only it could sound a lot better, even within Notion.

    Congratulations with your fantastic composition!
    Max
    Thanks Max, and your observations are spot on. I forgot to mention that, as with the first two Winter Scenes, the sound version was done in Sonar. (Now my terrible mixing skills are even more obvious, having said that). One problem is that I used different approaches to reverb on all three pieces. I tried to find the one with the best sound, and use that approach on the other two, but found that I could not without so destroying the mix, that I would have to start over completely. And I have been working on these pieces so long, and in so many different versions of sonar, that I just wanted to get them done, at least for now, and move on. Which I have already begun to do, and I am trying to take your advice, along with Ted's. I agree that the bus method is best, and so on my current project I am using buses. Grouping the woodwinds separately on Aria, Play, etc; then the brass and strings, each on separate synths; giving a little reverb to the woods, more yet to the brass, and so on. So hopefully my mixes will improve with these changes. It is difficult to mix well on an orchestral basis, but I am confident it can be done. It is not my strength, but perhaps with more work, it will get better.

  10. #10

    Re: Third Score In Notion

    Hi Michael,

    You mention the reverb on woodwinds and brass. It's not a matter of 'more reverb', quite at the contrary: you should only cut off the dry reverb a bit more (dry = direct hearing without reflections). Certainly not adding wet reverb, this would end up muddy and loose all detail.

    I wanted to point this out.

    All the best,
    Max

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